The Family Law Office of James J. Kenny would like to report that there has been a change in the legal standard for your partner to get a domestic violence restraining order. In the past, in order to obtain a restraining order, actual physical abuse would have had to happen and it would have needed to be a repeated offense, but according to the Judicial Branch of California now the law has changed to include; “disturbing someone’s peace”.
The Judicial Branch of California’s website reports;
- Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly;
- Sexual assault;
- Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously hurt (like threats or promises to harm someone); OR
- Behavior like harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting someone; disturbing someone’s peace; or destroying someone’s personal property.
Mr. Kenny’s take on the legal question to determine if domestic violence has taken place is: has the party engaged in conduct that has disturbed the peace and emotional calm of the other party? This concerns Mr. Kenny because virtually every argument between spouses disturbs the peace and our Law Office worries that this may create an easy opportunity for someone to take advantage of that law to get their way in their divorce or in any family law case for that matter.
A recent seminar that Mr. Kenny went to presented by the LA superior court judge, Trent Lewis concerning domestic violence included an imaginative situation pertaining to domestic violence. When the story was presented as the female being the perpetrator of domestic violence, the male got the restraining order against his spouse 30% of the time. When the names were reversed, the female prevailed 67% of the time proving that people typically side with women over men in regards to domestic violence.
It is recognized that men and woman are both abused parties but it is important to note that men are as abused as woman are and Mr. Kenny sees the misuse of this domestic-violence-restraining-order-law a lot. For people like firefighters, professors, policemen and prison guards, if they are served a restraining order, it could potentially cause them to lose their job affecting their entire lives so it is important to keep in mind this new law stipulation to avoid getting into an unfavorable situation. As women are often-times the victim of domestic violence and the lower wage earner, it is important to assess the type of bad conduct involved and to consider the potential loss of support when seeking a restraining order that may result in a loss of employment.
James J. Kenny is a divorce attorney that specializes in domestic violence and has been practicing family law since 1977. The Family Law Offices of James J. Kenny has offices in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca and San Bernardino, Ca.